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  1. 7 points
    Trip: North Howser Tower - All Along the Watchtower Trip Date: 08/06/2019 Trip Report: Climb Date: August 4-6, 2019. Summit August 6, 2019 Climbers: Jeff and Priti Wright Climb: All Along the Watchtower (Grade VI, 3000ft, 32 pitches, 5.10/C2- or 5.12) Style: Follower jugged every pitch in the Dihedral with micro traxions and runners. Heavy French/Aid utilized by the leader in the Dihedral. Two packs brought. Leader climbed with light pack, except in the Dihedral (where follower jugged with one pack on, trailing the other). Two bivouacs (one at base of Dihedral and one on the Summit ridge). With so little beta out there on the route, we found the route finding tricky. This post is intended to be a beta sheet to help with route finding. All Pitch numbers are per Jenny Abegg's topo which was very useful (https://jennyabegg.com/climbing/trip-reportsbeta/all-along-the-watchtower-north-howser-tower/). Pitches 2 and 3 were confusing and we split each of these into two pitches. If you stay on route and watch rope drag, you can avoid splitting these up. They are both full-length pitches. Pitch 3 is so wander-y that rope-drag might be unavoidable - recommend splitting this into two pitches. Pitch 16 (5.12 crux roof) in the Dihedral was only pitch where we thought it was mandatory to disobey Jenny and split into two pitches. Topos Jenny's topo was pretty spot on. Pitches 8-11 on Jenny's topo are the dyke variation that Westman/Haley did (on accident) which ascends directly up from the bivy ledge. Jenny's topo does not show the original route option, which splits off 30m below the bivy ledge. If you wanted to get snow at the bivy ledge and continue on to the original route, you have to rappel or down climb 30m 5.7 to meet back up with the original route. The party behind us did the dyke route and we did the original route. After talking to the party who did the dyke route, it's very safe to say that the dyke is better way to go. The Mountaineer's guidebook (the green book) topo shows both the original route and also the dyke route options, but the High Col topo shows only the original route. The High Col topo is not accurate at all, so be careful. Keep a copy of Jenny's and the Mountaineer's topo on you. Bivy sites: -We didn't see any good bivy sites until atop Pitch 7 (flat, walled, snow in early season). Some descriptions said there was one atop Pitch 3, but it's more of a sitting bivy. -Another good bivy site is out-of-the-way, about 20m left of the base of the Dihedral (flat, walled, no snow). Some descriptions said this was 4-person, but it fit the two of us pretty snug. To get from here back to the base of the dihedral, you have to down-climb 10m (5.7) then ascend 10m (5.7) to the base of the Dihedral. -Some bivy options along the ridge (four of us stayed at one, very snugly, about halfway on the summit ridge above the seventh rifle gully). -A flat, walled bivy spot on the summit (lots of snow throughout the season). When we saw it, it had thick snow/ice on it, so you'd be sleeping on top of snow. Photo Credit above: Tim Banfield Descending down to East Creek from the Pigeon-Howser Col. Left to Right: North, Central, South Howser Towers, Minaret. Priti is just below the Beckey-Chouinard Route From East Creek descend until you can scramble up to the ridge. Stay low on ledges if you want to cross over into the gully ("B" in picture, not recommended, loose scree and hard ice). Recommend staying on the ridge (climber's right side, "A" in picture) as if approaching for Beckey-Chouinard on South Howser Tower. From the base of Beckey-Chouinard, it is easy to scramble down to the snow to traverse high over to the North Howser Bivy Rock. This is a big, obvious boulder just at the next ridgeline. There is a luxurious, sheltered, covered bivy cave here (recommended instead of East Creek if you only have bivy gear and you want to get an early start for the route in a push). Four rappels (two hangers, chains, rap rings) take you to the snow below. The first rappel is heavily cairned and easy to find (even in the dark), requiring a bit of down-scrambling to get to the lip of the ridge. The rappel line is straight down. Each rappel is easy to find and on obvious ledges. You'll want crampons and ice axe for the snow below, on the way to the base of Watchtower. We used a Beal Escaper for the rappels which worked like a charm... we did not bring a pull cord on this trip. Note: rappels shown in picture above are approximate (just use cairns to find the first one, then take the plumb line). The picture is not intended to help you find the rappels. The first rappel. Crossing the moat. Another party of rappelers above. The approach snow after the approach rappels. You're committed now! Looking up North Howser Tower. Approach at the base all the way left to big ledges just before the large, obvious gully. Take ledges all the way left to dihedrals. Pitch 4 (above), 5.10, full 60m: a striking dihedral (protect on the face on the right) which starts as an easy stem/chimney and ends in an overhanging, difficult off width. Photo credit: Dane Steadman Bivy site along ridge. Looking down the ridge from the summit. Photo credit: Dane Steadman "Hand crack on the right side of crest". Party on the summit. Photo credit: Dane Steadman Simul Rappelling over the bergshrund. Photo credit: Dane Steadman Joining up with the Beckey-Chouinard steps. Photo credit: Dane Steadman Gear Notes: Double Rack to #3. Single #4. Triples in finger sizes for dihedral. Offset nuts, brassies. Did not bring offset cams (did not think they were necessary). No aid gear. 1 sleeping bag to share. 1 bivy sac to share. 1 Jetboil. Beal Escaper for rappels. We did not bring a pull cord. Recommend a pull cord to 1:1 haul packs in the Dihedral. Approach Notes: Started from Kain Hut, ended at car.
  2. 5 points
    Trip: Mt Cleator - Tubby Needs Cheese 5.8+, 9 pitches, 1,000'+ Trip Date: 09/01/2019 Trip Report: It's been a spell since my last report; I offer a tale of an ascetic and a hedonist climbing yet another irrelevant obscurity in their quest for entertainment and raw truth. The weather forecast pointed them east, and Mt Cleator appeared to fit the bill. After a pleasant trail tramp past Buck Mtn and establishing camp, the dialectic duo scouted and debated a number of lines available, and provisionally settled on the cleanest looking one. The line emanates from near the main summit (not the N tower), and is a NW jutting rib that appears to share the granitic character of the pluton on nearby Berge--very little schist encountered. (Other options abound on the N side of this peak up to the N tower, but even these impaired codgers reckoned unappealing the primarily grubby schist on these longer lines toeing down more directly to Buck Cr. They agreed to buy beer for any whippersnapper climbing one of these lines.) For the full Cascades sub-alpinism experience, approach directly from a camp near Buck Creek, where the trail passes close to the creek. Romp up pleasant alp slopes to a band of cliffy terrain, then bunk-jungle up steep alder to pass a waterfall. This approach grants access to the upper basin and the several lines available on the northwestern quadrant of the mountain. For the descent enjoy the scenic trail tour return via Buck Creek Pass. Lots of wildlife encountered--bear, coyotes calling at each other (probably about the bear), deer, etc. The climb's more-technical and mental challenges are concentrated in pitches 2, 3, 8 and 9. (Unfortunately, not many climbing pics taken.) Pitch 2: while the self-styled epicurean showered his pathetic self with sod digging for pro and holds, the wannabe stylite laughed derisively. Pitch 3: the ascetic got his come-uppance, "I wanna go home", but eventually pieced together a lead to the crest of the rib. The middle pitches were more scrambly, mostly mid-fifth and easier. Pitch 8: a sweet, relatively steep and juggy corner. Pitch 9: interspersed short splitters and varied climbing, beautiful and exposed ridge rambling with steeper steps. P1: P3: P6(?), climber low center: On average, the over-indulger and the self-depriver make for a balanced human. In an alternate universe the roles could be switched, and maybe the pair would climb splitter cracks on impeccable stone; but in this one, they reconcile themselves to seeking new lines on inconsistent rock with their mercifully impaired memories. On this climb, a somewhat dirty beginning becomes more enjoyable higher (and with distance). It's difficult to get a well-defined shot of the line. Here's a flavor: Tubby Needs Cheese begins to the left of the shaded red streak on far right, a few hundred ft below that tiny spot of sunshine on the ridge, and continues up to and then on the right skyline. Tubby tops out in the horizontal strip of sunshine, or perhaps just out of view behind the pyramidal feature to the left of it. (The sunlit tower is in the foreground relative to the main summit.) Beckey's CAG vol 2 (2nd ed.) has a good pic of it along with Buck on page 160, swooping down from the main summit clearly marked MT CLEATOR. And from the west, hiking toward Buck Pass: A shot on the way home on Labor Day, TNC in the shade on right toeing down just left of the snow in the basin: More pics (recommend click on 'info' to see descriptions for many): https://photos.app.goo.gl/P2U5SJgB8jU1eQBo8 Gear Notes: Double rack through 3, a 4, some nuts. We didn't use our pins, but some folk might want to. Approach Notes: Park at Trinity. Buck Creek trail, etc. -- see above.
  3. 4 points
    The lessons and the good times are not lost. In fact, the good times keep getting gooder. And we teased each other, too. On one trip to the Olympics, Chuck was telling me how he was going to "teach" me the major differences in consideration between the Cascades and Olympics. He even sacrificed his "Favorite T-shirt" to demonstrate: it poured rain about 60% of the trip and was hot and humid for the remainder. One night when it wasn't raining, he spread that shirt out over some branches to try to dry the sweat some. You know where it ends ... inside some goats. I will never forget the look on his face in the morning when we figured out what happened. GumpyCat. OMG, I am laughing right now. So cathartic. And I fell down laughing then. GrumpyCat2 And then I was unconsciously humming Bill Grogan's goat on the trail back... GrumpyCat3 Eh, he had a hundred Favorite T-shirts. No biggee, there. He never let bad stuff get him down, at least not for more than an hour. I am working on figuring out how he did that. He was happy every day, shared a lot, and dreamed of retiring early to the mountains. He didn't suffer; that we know. It is just we who have to figure out how to fill them gap.
  4. 4 points
    Very sad news. I'll miss Chuck's sarcastic sense of humor, his brotherly teasing, his intelligence, and his adventurous and ready spirit. I spent one of my all-time favorite mountain climbing days with Chuck when we climbed the full North Ridge of Mt. Stuart in a day, which was his idea and turned out great. It was one of those days of alpine perfection. We didn't see another human the whole day and we flowed up the route in the glittering sunshine. I can close my eyes and recall a dozen moments from that day. Memories that I have cherished to this day, but are now a bit heavier. Thank you for that day! I will miss you my friend.
  5. 3 points
    Trip: Tenpeak and Kololo- Witness to Vanishing Ice - Standards Trip Date: 09/01/2019 Trip Report: The Cascades have become a bit of a gong show in recent years, and much more so on holiday weekends. This was on full display the Saturday of Labor Day weekend as @therunningdog and I slogged up the North Fork Sauk trail en route to White Pass, passing no less than 50 (!) people bound for Glacier Peak the next day. The overflowing parking area attested to the fact that many more were already up the trail, somewhere. But, unsurprisingly, nobody was headed to Tenpeak or Kololo and we left them all behind as soon as we left the Foam Creek route for the character building traverse to the White River Glacier. An unforecasted rain squall was bearing down on us as we crested the moraine below the glacier and gazed out on a large large that wasn't on our maps. There was no way to cross the outlet (we had read) and the traverse around it looked tenuous at best with loose debris perched on steep slabs. But the alternatives were even worse so we rock hopped and chossed our way around to the bare ice, barely making it to flat gravel as the heavens unleashed. This is what we came for? Camp "Grim" was christened as we soggily established camp where ice was just a few years before. The weather cleared at dusk but the forecast for the next day was worse so we drowned our sorrows in whiskey and the Ron Burgundy podcast. Did you know that your brain shrinks to 65% of its normal volume during deep sleep so cerebral spinal fluid can pump around and flush out toxins? Ron didn't either. Anyways, the next day dawned so-so as expected but we didn't have anything else to do so began the tedious and long slog around the Hive, over the shoulder of West Tenpeak, and around to the Standard route on Tenpeak. While scenic, glacial recession in this area has made for rugged travel, sans snow. Expect a full day return. The regular route on Tenpeak is short, has a bit of fifth class, and is actually pretty decent. Given the approach (White River isn't a lot better), nobody will be surprised that it only gets a party or so a year. The register was placed in 1972 and appeared to have scrap of paper with Fred's name signed to it. This is probably the only register I've seen with that honor (if it is legit), as all others I've seen with him have been photocopies of the original entry. After a long while admiring the view (the weather had cleared) and delaying the tedious descent/return to camp, we bid adieu and headed for Camp Grim. On the way back we coined the acronymn "YOCO" to describe Tenpeak- as in a peak You Only Climb Once. Still, I thought it was worth climbing....once. Monday was clear and glorious as forecasted so we took our time climbing up to the col west of Kololo that would give us access to the what's left of the Whitechuck Glacier. Dropping packs we went for a glorious ramble up to the summit of Kololo, a fantastic viewpoint of the surrounding area. Nobody around for miles it seemed, but a short ways off we knew the masses were packing up and heading home. By the time we crevasse hopped our way down the bare ice and joined the climber's path, I didn't run into anybody until some horsepackers on the Foam Creek path who were picking up USGS gear. The hike out the NF Sauk was a lot quieter than on the way in, but enlivened by a few parties. The most memorable of which had a member who had packed AT boots all the way to high camp because "they were the only boots that fit my crampons". Wow! So, if the trails are going to be crowded, at least there's always the people watching. Captions refer to the photo below ..... Hiking in on the NF Sauk: Indian Head Peak: Uh oh: Camp at the toe of the White River Gl: Honeycomb Gl. crusin': Dakobed: West Tenpeak. We didn't summit because we didn't want to break out the rope: Snout of Honeycomb (L), Signing in on Tenpeak (R): Gneiss!: The magnificent desolation of the White River Gl.: Treat your water people: This is what we came here for!: What's left of the Whitechuck Gl.: Tenpeak is the dark tower: Whitechuck crevasse hopping: I've never seen a tarn like this, have you?: The ultra classic Sloan: I tend to forget what a nice valley the NF Sauk is: Gear Notes: half rope and light rack to 2" for Tenpeak. Ice axe and Al crampons. Helmet Approach Notes: Pick your poison. Long, rugged and scenic from NF Sauk or brushy and long from White River
  6. 3 points
    Trip: Alpine Lakes Wilderness - Thunder Robin High Route Trip Date: 09/07/2019 Trip Report: I did some off trail exploration, connecting the high terrain between Thunder Mountain Lakes and the Robin Lakes. I found the terrain to be surprisingly rugged and remote feeling, despite never being more than a mile or two from the PCT. There was a lot of talus and steep heather and not too much brush for the area. My general route: traverse south from Thunder Mountain Lakes, cross into the basin above the Deception Lakes, traverse the west side of Mac Peak, down to Talus Lake, up over the next pass, down to Lake Phoebe, and up past the Granite Mountain Potholes to Robin Lakes. Then I took the PCT back to the Surprise Creek TH, where I started. It made for about 29 miles and 10k ft gain. For more details, see https://climberkyle.com/2019/09/07/thunder-robin-high-route/ Evening above Lower Thunder Mountain Lake. Sunrise on Mt. Stuart. Sunrise over Square Lake. Sunrise over Daniel and the Deception Lakes. Basin west of Mac Peak, lots of talus. The ridge north of Talus Lake. Lake Phoebe. Granite Mountain Potholes. Robin Lakes. Surprise Gap. Gear Notes: Lightweight bivy kit, poles, La Sportiva Ultra Raptors for the gnar. Approach Notes: Surprise creek trail to Trap Pass to Thunder Mountain Lakes.
  7. 3 points
    Trip: Das Toof - The Tooth Fairy, 5.9+ Trip Date: 08/15/2019 Trip Report: Got out Friday on this new(ish) Nelson/Whitelaw route; if you're looking for a quick alpine hit you should give it a try. To find the start, go past the SW Face trad route and continue a short distance to a low angle corner with bolts. Easy to find. The route is generously bolted, no need for gear. It's seven 30m pitches -- we combined 6&7 and you could easily combine 3&4 as well, but I think running 1&2 together would give you some unpleasant rope drag. I skipped or unclipped a couple of bolts on P2 and still had a little drag at the end of the pitch. P5 is the crux. Rap the route with a 60 or downclimb the South Face and circle back around for your gear. Fun day out and as I'm told "it's a good training route for anything on Hozomeen." We ran into Jake the Brit as we were downclimbing the South Face, he said I should post a TR and he'd nag Whitelaw for a topo. You really don't need one though, just follow the bolts. Action shot looking down P2: Gear Notes: 13 draws, rope Approach Notes: the usual
  8. 3 points
    Trip: Glacier Peak Wilderness - Mt. Berge, East Ridge (IV, 5.8) Trip Date: 08/25/2019 Trip Report: 2000 ft of solid granite in a sea of choss? It sounded too good to be true, so two half-Asian Kyles made the trek out to the East Ridge of Berge. We found decent climbing but really cool exposure in a beautiful setting. Unfortunately, we also found rain and clouds where there was supposed to be sun, which added to the adventurous feel of the route. We reached a definite 5.8ish chimney crux at the start of the fifth tower (yes, there are six towers before the summit, starting from the notch to the right of the Twin Gendarmes). The route took us about 6 hours to climb simul climbing almost the entire thing, so if you plan on pitching it out, plan on a long day. Or two. If you want a little more beta, check out https://climberkyle.com/2019/08/25/mt-berge-e-ridge-5-8/. Hiking through the burn up the east ridge of Cleator. The east ridge of Berge from the approach. We climbed up the dirty gully to the right of the twin gendarmes. Typical ridge terrain. This was the most fun, exposed climbing. About to enter the clouds. Endless towers in the mist. Beautiful basin between Berge and Buck. Quite a bit of nasty alder descending from Buck back to the trail. Gear Notes: Standard rack of cams. Nuts aren't super helpful but work in some sections. Approach Notes: The east ridge of Cleator has burned in the last few years but is still pretty clear so easy to travel. Follow game trails off the ridge to the south around 5600 ft and contour into the basin north of the east ridge of Berge. Easiest descent is down to the Berge-Cleator saddle. Descend from the Buck-Berge saddle like we did at your own risk.
  9. 3 points
    Trip: Pickets - E & W Fury, Luna - Standards Trip Date: 08/15/2019 Trip Report: @Albuquerque Fred and I teamed up again... West Fury as the main event, East Fury happened to be in the way, Luna was convenient. Day 1: We took the water taxi to Big Beaver, leaving pretty late at 10:30am on Thursday. In about 4 hours of really good trail we were at the good log crossing right where it was supposed to be. A GPS was clutch here as there is no indication along the trail of where to turnoff and really no trail to the log. After thrashing some brush on the other side of Big Beaver Creek we wound up on the wrong (south) side of Access Creek. It is misplaced on the map by about .1 mile, shown to the south of reality; there is a tiny creek about where Access is shown on the map. After some bushwhacking upward we eventually found the climber's trail which was surprisingly good. I guess people heard about the 4G on the summit. We walked into Luna Col camp at 8pm, just in time to get one picture of the northern Pickets before they dissapeared for the next 3 days. Water is acceptably ample on BB trail and the traverse to Luna Col, lacking at the Col however. There is snow in the col and a tarn below the snow patch a 10 minute walk to the north of the col. Obligatory boat ride photo: The lake was a little low: Only good view of the southern Pickets, from the traverse to Luna: Our best view of the Furys: Day 2: We awoke at 4:45 am to lots of clouds. Onward to the Furies! Over 3 major humps and down into the basin SE of E Fury. It was all snow free which made for tedious travel. We found a ledge system at 6800' to round the SE buttress of Fury, then turned right and scrambled a talus and slab slope near a stream (last water!) We gained the east edge of the glacier at about 7400' due south of point 7820'. Crampons were required for the bare ice and moderately steep firm-ish snow ascending the east ridge of E Fury. There seems to be some mixed scrambling required at both the east and west approaches to the snowfield just below the summit. (We went up the east and down the west). Onward to West Fury! Down, up, down, up, down, up, down, up. Three towers and the summit block with loose crappy gullies between each. Tower 1: on a tip, we descended 100' on snow to a talus ledge, then scrambled up, left and up some more, then left again (you'll figure it out) to wrap around the tower not quite summiting. We soloed this. Oh, by the way, I should interject that since the lower glacier we were in total whiteout conditions and would remain so all day. This made route-finding challenging and despiriting. Tower 2: we climbed directly. Descending was trickier; scramble down an eroded dike/gully, when you approach a notch and a filthy gully on skier's right take to the arete and downclimb into the filthy gully. Legend has it descending the dike to the bottom leads to 5th class no holds traversing to get around the arete. Soloed all this. Tower 3: climb directly up a chimney just right of the obvious one. Easy soloing by now. Then we scrambled to the summit! Three times in fact; the whiteout kept making us think we were there just long enough to get excited, then another rise would loom in the white. Eventually we did make it and signed in as #22 in the register. We descended by rapping all 3 towers. Tower 1 required a 60m rope. Long and tedious trip back over E Fury, multiple basins, and many towers and rises back to camp. 12 hours round trip going hard, but with slow route finding. Morning right out from camp: Outrigger Peak and the south Fury Glacier: Mixed step on the east side of the summit of E Fury: Fred on the final summit ridge: Me descending somewhere between the Furies: Fred descending somewhere between the Furies: Gloruous summit photo on West Fury! Worth it for the views!!: Register: What, you dont mountaineer with manhattans? I left the shaker at home so we had to drink them warm, but it was pretty chilly out anyway: The rest is history. Sleep, lounge, climb Luna. We descended to Luna Camp day 3, then hiked all the way to the car day 4. Victory pose on Luna summit: Lots of this on the way out: The summit register on Luna was totally full, please replace it if you go there. 3 summits 49 miles 14,000' 12oz of manhattans Gear Notes: 60m rope for rappels Crampons Axes We took some rock gear but didn't use it. Manhattans Approach Notes: Big Beaver to Access Creek, cross Big Beaver Creek at 2520', cross Access Creek to south side at 3900'. Trail was great, trail into Access basin was decent climbers trail, good even, in places.
  10. 2 points
    Looks like they withdrew the applications for the mine and it's been called off for now! https://www.goskagit.com/news/local_news/marblemount-mine-project-called-off/article_dc799823-4fb3-5ce3-86c7-37578bdf278b.html
  11. 2 points
  12. 2 points
    Trip: South to North Pickets Traverse- Goodell to Access Crks - Wild Hair Crack, East and West Fury, Luna Trip Date: 07/24/2019 Trip Report: Images stick with me. So much so that often I'll plan a trip around a specific place that I've seen either on a screen, a print, a slide, or in just my mind, after looking at a map. Frenzel camp is such a spot, its draw powerful enough to compel a 7 day traverse from Goodell Creek to the Big Beaver just to spend a few hours (well, a few more hours than planned) looking all around in wonder. The yin and yang of such trips, at least for me these days, is that they aren't getting any easier. Some of that is age, some of that is self-induced suffering from my own stubbornness of carrying a full frame dSLR and several lenses, NO MATTER WHAT. I cursed this decision more than a few times on this trip, but when I slip that card into my desktop and get to work, it all melts away. I know I was heard saying that I'll never do another 7 day Pickets trip, but....... This one started like most- swatting bugs, dividing up group gear, and taking swigs from a bottle of Hunter stashed in the car. Hey, this isn't the Olympics, and a whiskey morning jacket can do wonders for morale. My pack was way too large, as usual, but it turned out I did an even worse job than normal of packing food. This would be apparent on day 7 as I packed probably 4 lbs of extra food out of the Big Beaver AFTER spending the week trying to give it away. I really should be better at this by now. Anyways, the pain began.... and continued. By the time we reached the Chopping Block col I was thoroughly wrung out and cramping, trying to look as carefree as Tyler (who had climbed J'berg THE DAY BEFORE). I wasn't fooling anybody though, especially myself. So, I went off to get water for the group and have a good cry (Well, maybe on the inside, a little). Recomposed, I came back and guzzled some whiskey. Much better. Next, through the wonders of modern technology, I cheerily texted my wife to tell her how much fun I was having and that it was just an easy stroll over the ridge the next day. Oh, and maybe she could move the boat to a day later? I was going to need it. The easy stroll the next morning started with some talus side-hilling and steep snow traversing that led to more boulder hopping and a general team mutiny as we all sought a line that was superior to our teammates. Somewhere in there we spooked a bear (surprising for all involved), met a party of ladies headed to Terror ("The Terror Twins"- not actually twins), and had some fun ascending the the steep snow and "loosey goosey" rock to the Ottohorn-Himmelgeisterhorn col. Whew. Gearing up, we joked about who was going to lead the first pitch. "Not I" came the reply from General Weakness (AKA me). Tyler gamely stepped up and promptly gunned us all to the the false summit before we knew what happened, including a sparsely protected section of off-width that he exclaimed was "fun" as we all clenched our butts in solidarity. It is quite a climb though, and my hat's off to John, Silas and Russ for establishing such a gem on probably the best rock in the Pickets. Highly recommended! Next stop was Frenzel camp after the usual moaty rappel shenanigans off the col. Suffice to say, the camp didn't disappoint, it truly is a remarkable spot. I'll leave it at that. Listening to the weather radio that evening, General Weakness declared that the next day the team would remain in Frenzel camp to wait out a squall coming through. Coincidentally, it also meant that the General's load, which had to be carried over Outrigger and to the summit of East Fury, would get a tad lighter. Post dinner activities that first night included feeling sorry for the Terror Twins who we could see having an unplanned(?), open bivy on the NF of Terror (photo below). Tough ladies! The next day was spent lounging at one of the best camps I've had the pleasure of staying in, watching the weather deteriorate, and keeping tabs on the Twins as they ascended up into the mists. Packs were lightened, whiskey stores reduced, and tired legs rested. It was a great spot to spend a weather day. That night, the forecasted rain and wind arrived and we were all glad that we weren't up on the summit of East Fury. This was especially true the next day as the weather continued to linger into the afternoon. Fearing that our chances for West Fury were fading, we opted to pack up in the mist and grope our way over to the the summit of Outrigger just as the weather began to improve. It was still harder than it should have been to get off Outrigger and ascend to the summit of East Fury. The General arrived crabby and didn't relish carving out a platform in the snow, melting snow, and generally having to pretend to be a tough alpine climber. Thankfully I had one of those bourgeois NeoAir mattresses to insulate my sorry ass from the snow and provide some much needed rest. I can't imagine spending THREE DAYS up here in a flapping megamid. West Fury. Why? Well, why not? We were here, we had the time, and in the words of @Trent, "It must be climbed!". And so we did. It is actually a lot better than it looks from East Fury, but still takes some time and a rope (if you're partial to such things, as I am). I think it was about 7 hours RT East Fury to East Fury, including about an hour on the summit. We were the 20th party to sign in, I believe, but I don't think I saw @wayne in there? So maybe it was the 21st ascent? Anyway, always cool to see the complete ascent history in a register. And then it was down, down, up, down, and over, over to Luna col and the comfortable camps there. At this point a weight was lifted from the team since it was all pretty much downhill with the pigs and we were on friendly and familiar ground. Watching the sunset, listening to tunes, and chatting with a team from Salem headed to East Fury the next day was a very civilized end to a few days of ruggedness. The last few drops of whiskey sealed it- tomorrow we would set the alarms and watch sunrise from Luna. Because, why not? Well, I could think of a few reasons when my alarm went off the next morning. But I gamely tried forget all of them and keep @tylerhs01 in my sights as he streaked for the summit like a well-chiseled alpinist fired from a cannon. I failed, of course, but arrived on the false summit in time to capture the scene pretty well. Like most places along our trip, though, pictures really don't do it justice. But no matter, the summit of Luna has 4G now (??!!) so you can pretend that the pictures you're sending everyone are EXACTLY HOW IT IS, RIGHT NOW. No wonder the Luna XC zone is full most weekends in high summer. Listening to the weather radio again at Luna col, more rain was on the horizon so we broke camp and headed down into the head of Access (Axes? Pickaxes?) Creek. Again, this turned out to be a good move, driven home our final morning when I awoke to find my mattress floating in a bass pond while rain pounded on the fly. D'oh! Access creek is brushy, but at least it was going to be wet. We were long out of whiskey as well, so it was going to be a character building descent which, in the case of General Weakness, might actually be a good thing. But that extra character was never beaten into the weak General since Tyler had a gpx track that he had recorded a few weeks prior WHEN HE CLIMBED LUNA (??!!) on a casual three day romp with some family friends (a record for shortest time between Luna ascents?). We even found bits of a trail! And a couple large logs across the Big Beaver! And a freshly logged and brushed Big Beaver Trail! It was all just so reasonable, right down to the customary dip in the lake while waiting for the water taxi. I guess there is always hope that the General will get some character beat into him on the next one. Until then.... (Captions refer to the photo(s) below the words- seems to work for scrolling? Let me know if not) The Mac Spires: John approaches camp: Der Shuksan: "Has the General always been this weak?": @tylerhs01 photo of us headed up to the O-H col, on the fun part (it ended in less fun when the snow ran out): Wild Hair Crack!! Tyler gunning us up the crazy good rock: Almost at the summit of the Himmelgeisterhorn... @tylerhs01 and @Trent contemplate the drop off each side: @Trent on the way to Frenzel camp I think this is the West Peak of the Southern Pickets? I could be wrong: The top of the "Thread of Gneiss" remains unclimbed to the summit of the East Twin Needle. Will you be the one?: For the full story behind this photo (and you really need the full story, trust me), read THIS: The Terror Twins building character: While the General fluffs his pillow: Looking past Terror to the NF of the Mac Spires: Frenzel Camp: Jack as the weather comes in: Frenzelspitz: Watching the storm brewing on Fury. Glad we aren't up there!: But this is the next day and it wasn't a lot better. Getting wet and wild on the way to the summit of Outrigger: Figuring out how to get off Outrigger as the weather begins to clear. Luna behind: The team approaching the summit of East Fury: (L)Uh, does this really need to be climbed? "West Fury MUST BE CLIMBED!" Summit camp lyfe on East Fury: Well, I guess it is time to climb this thing: Auspicious start to the day, looking east from the summit of East Fury: @Trent photo of @tylerhs01 and the General leaving the summit of East Fury heading west: @tylerhs01 posing effectively: The FA party carried a brass can and this register up there. Impressive!: Much of the way to and from West Fury is better than it looks, but still requires care: I was much faster back then: Larrabee and American Border Peaks: @tylerhs01 on the true summit of Luna at sunrise: Fury at first light: Terror: McMillan Spires: Worth waking up early for every 12 years whether I want to or not: You really should go climb both North and South Hozomeen: The Big Beaver pointed right at Jack: West Fury (L) and the team walking towards Elephant Butte (R): I think I saw an old Crowder or Tabor photo from this vantage many years ago. The hook was set: Luna: Last Camp: Dark Eyed Junco with a good meal: Mount Prophet. The prominent rib on the right is known as Jacob's Ladder : Good times crossing the Big Beaver. PM me for a GPS point if you need one: Gear Notes: The full kit- ice axe, Al crampons, helmet, whiskey, etc. One 70m half rope sufficient for Wild Hair. Medium rack to 2" Approach Notes: Crescent Creek climber's path to Access Creek Climber's path. Both are getting more defined by the year. Expect Shenanigans between the two.
  13. 2 points
    Big pile of late sixties/early seventies climbing hardware amid the even bigger pile of crap I've accumulated over the years: see attached. Air up the tires in that Sprinter van, load your pockets with cash, and stop by. We're in Hamburger Flats, roughly beneath the Golden Arch. yard sale.pdf
  14. 2 points
    Seattle Times article on Chuck: https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/obituaries/uw-scientist-who-died-in-climbing-accident-remembered-for-love-of-outdoors-research-impact/
  15. 2 points
    of all the trip reports i've read, this is one of them!!!
  16. 2 points
    Trip: Black Peak - NE Ridge Trip Date: 08/24/2019 Trip Report: We climbed Black Peak via the NE Ridge, camping at the TH so we could get an early start. GPS Tracks Timeline: 5am - Leave TH 8am - Leave Wing Lake (after filling water) 9:30am - Arrive notch 10am - Start climbing ridge 10:30-11:30am - Deal with being off route in a shooting gallery 1:15pm - Summit 3:30pm - Wing Lake 6:15pm - TH Approach Leave from the Rainy Pass TH Hike along the trail to Wing Lake (~4.5 mi, ~2500' gain, ~500' loss) Strike out towards the saddle on the NW side of the peak (~1200' gain) Gaining the saddle In snowy conditions you can just kick steps straight up, with a short section (60m?) of particularly steep snow. See my previous TR on my attempt during snowy conditions. In dry conditions (what we had today), it's mostly a scree climb, with a short section of blocky 3rd/4th class scrambling. We crossed two small snow patches, though we might have been able to avoid the second one. We hit the snow around 9am so it was firm but not icy. All four of us had ice axes and approach shoes and two of us had microspikes. The microspikes were definitely helpful, but not totally necessary. The ice axes were also a nice safety backup, though perhaps could also have been left behind. The steeper snow patch was short and would have run out onto the rocky patch below, but not over a cliff. Once through the snow, we headed up the climbers right side of the slope leading up to the saddle, staying on relatively solid blocky terrain. We trended up and slightly climbers left, eventually working our way along a high ledge to the left to the saddle. Word on the street is that if you attempt to gain the saddle by starting on the left side of the slope, there's much sketchier terrain, with more kitty litter over rock. The climb Once on the saddle, we walked across some scree and then soloed up a short 4th class step. We then walked across a wide ledge and more scree around the left side of the ridge until we hit a gully. There we roped up and started simul climbing, as two rope teams of two, each on 30m ropes. We headed straight up the gully, which was mostly solid rock, until we gained a small notch. From here, we made a major routefinding mistake, dropping far back down the left side of the ridge and traversing along some easy terrain. We realized we were too far below the ridge (maybe 60m below?) and took a sharp right up a gully. Unfortunately, this turned out to be steep, loose and hard to protect. We were in two rope teams of two, and the rope movement of the first rope team dropped a ton of rocks on the second. Our last climber was hit in the helmet with a baseball sized rock. We had good communication between the teams though, and we eventually made it up the gully. Once back on the ridge, the rest of the climbing felt overwhelmingly better. We just stayed on the actual top of the ridge absolutely as much as possible, almost always climbing up and over gendarmes instead of around them. I don't think we dropped more than 10-15m below the ridge line for the rest of the climb. It was mostly 4th or low 5th, extremely exposed climbing along the ridge. There was one ~15m steep section of rock, maybe 5.5 or 5.6. There was definitely some loose rock, though not nearly as bad as the rock in our off-route gully, and overall I found the climbing to be fun and engaging with excellent views. Near the summit, the angle eased considerably and we were able to pass quickly along 4th class terrain on the right side of the ridge until we reached the summit block. From there we soloed up to the summit. We did the climb essentially in two long simuls, though frequently with only one piece per rope length. The descent We downclimbed the same north side of the summit we'd come up, then walked around to the S ridge descent. We looked closely for cairns on the entire descent, and we were able to make the whole descent without once needing to use our hands to scramble (the first time I climbed Black via the S. Ridge, I remember I ended up doing a short section of scrambling - turns out that was unnecessary). Gear Notes: - 30m rope - 0.3 to 2 - doubles: 0.4 to 0.75 - 10 nuts - 8 singles - 7 doubles - 2 tied doubles - 2 cordalettes There was no place where large gear was necessary, but I was happy to have my #2 in reserve a couple times just so I could quickly place and move on. A few more pieces might have let our simuls be less run out, or we could have placed more often and done it in 3 simul pitches instead. Approach Notes: -
  17. 2 points
    Trip: Stuart Range - Enchantment Linkup Uber-Lite Trip Date: 08/16/2019 Trip Report: Thursday morning came around and I still hadn't found a partner or a plan for my one day "retail weekend" on Friday. Bummed, I resolved myself to going solo and started making plans to go climb some stuff around the Kangaroo temple area at WA Pass. As they day progressed, the idea of getting off work at 8pm and driving the four hours up to the pass started to seem less appealing. I had remembered reading a FB post of Shane Markus rope soloing Prusik in something like 9 hours C2C and thought that sounded like good fun, though I was looking for a little more adventure. Having already climbed the W-Ridge, I started thinking of other longer routes that I hadn't already done, and Serpentine came to mind. After a little beta gathering, I was sold. Figuring I would only have to pitch out the two crux pitches I made a mental gear list and patiently waited till I got off work After getting off my shift of slinging sleeping bags I rode home, frantically repacked my bag and started the "much shorter than Wa Pass" drive over to L-Town. The next morning since my 92 Honda Accord doesn't seem to like washboard roads, I hitched a ride up to the Stuart Lake TH, and started hiking around 6am. My pack weighed down by a few beers and a left over breakfast smoothie which I promptly stashed in the creek. Feeling spry, I launched up and around the lake. Having neglected to research where the cutoff up the moraine is, I found myself deep in a fistfight with some slide alder. Arriving at the base of the route 2.5 hours from the car I was feeling great! Racking up and repacking I started up the route. Before I knew it I turned the corner to find myself below the crux pitch. "That looked way harder in the pictures" I thought to myself and started padding and jamming my way up the slab cracks. Confident that if anything started to feel hairy I could plug a few pieces and pitch out the rest of the crux. Luckily it only got easier and more secure, and in no time I was well through the crux and weaving my way up the blocky ridge, lungs burning and psyche high. Arriving on the summit 4.5 hours from the car I was ecstatic, soaking up the sun and giving my legs a rest. That's when I started thinking It would be a shame to waste my day off by getting back to the car at 2pm and I might as well tag Prusik while I'm up here. Unfortunately I had only brought enough fig bars for one route... Strapping my girlfriends fancy UL crampons to my approach shoes, and whipping out my axe I scampered down the icy snow behind D-Tail and straight lined it in the direction of Prusik. Next time I'll definitely ditch the snow gear opt for the snowless witches tower roundabout. The jog over to Prusik was beautiful as always with goats and ultra vest clad "runners" keeping me company the whole way. The W-ridge went super fast. I brought the rope up in case I wanted to rap the slab, but never ended up pulling it out. The top chimney is indeed easier to slither down than up, and the slab didn't feel much different either. Getting down to the base I thought to myself that I should go rope solo OS as well, I had the time and the energy to complete the triple linkup. Though looking at my dwindling food supply and my small rope + rack I thought it may be a bit more out there than I wanted, plus the day had already gone so well. Reserving myself to the softie linkup, I started my slog back up to Aasgard pass. The trudge back was pretty average, and my stashed chocolate smoothie was a life saver as my food rations were long gone. Again I got an easy hitch down to my car and feasted on a well earned sausage in town before driving back to Seattle that evening. There is something much less satisfying about a double linkup over a triple. I'll be back for that some time soon. Trailhead to Trailhead time: 12hrs Thanks Croft and Plotz for the inspiration and psyche. Final push up the moraine Looking down the two good pitches Chillin in some poor saps bivy spot Looking over at a very sad Colchuck glacier Time to Summit Pack explosion on the summit, showing the small rack that I didn't ever use. Where I'm going The likely better crampon free descent is visible I didn't get any Pictures from Prusik since my phone was dying, but I got one on my hike back! The worst part of these solo trips is the before and after when you don't have anyone to shoot the shit with. Gear Notes: Not used, but carried: 35M rope, Half rack, self belay device (Grigri), extra tat in place of cordelette, R1, Hudini Used Gear: Helmet, Rock shoes, Chalk bag, Water filter, UL axe and Crampons Approach Notes: Don't cut up the Moraine too early and enjoy the views.
  18. 2 points
    My first climb with Chuck was the East Buttress of Big Snow Mountain (1996) and the last was Argonaut (2016). As many of you know, Chuck had a penchant for writing detailed, entertaining trip reports. Chuck's TR for the '96 climb is appended below. These two climbs had their share of uncertainty, route finding on the rock climbs and descents in the darkness. Throughout these climbs our situations were always in control and composed. I can say I always felt as safe as one could or should feel in the mountains, thanks to Chuck. He was a great mentor for climbing and hiking. Even on Argonaut, a 54-year old Chuck was as amazing on lead, leading a dirty off-route 5.10+ crux pitch that took us to the summit, as the thirty-something-year-old Chuck who taught a neophyte to climb in the 90's. And Chuck led that off-route crux after almost 11 hours of continuous and sustained hiking and climbing, and he did it in hiking boots. I have to take it back, Chuck was more amazing at 54. I will fondly remember Chuck, especially on our climbs, our conversations to, from and during our hikes, and the places we all climbed together. I will miss his veiled "post climbing festivities" at many of the summits. I/we wish Chuck could have stayed with us longer. He was a wonderful friend and great outdoorsman. The world is dimmer without him. David East Buttress, Big Snow Mountain TR by Chuck Spiekerman The East Buttress of Big Snow Mountain is described in the Becky guide as "10 pitches on very firm granite, 5.7." Sounded pretty good for an alpine climb in the Cascades. I liked the sound of "very firm." Last year I had gone hiking to Hardscrabble Lakes to fish and explore. The East Buttress looms 1000 feet over Lower Hardscrabble Lake. It looked big and steep. I liked the sound of "5.7." I had a window of two days. My wife had flown to her parents in Minnesota with our 10-month old on Wednesday afternoon. At 4:30 pm Saturday I was scheduled to fly to California to go backpacking with my father. Wednesday night I packed and cleaned (I hate returning from a trip to a trashed house with food rotting in the sink) and got to bed around 11:30. I picked up Dave, a novice, but quickly learning, partner at 5:15 am. We got gas outside of North Bend but were rebuffed in our attempts to buy beer since it wasn't yet 6 am. I had been looking forward to drinking some ice cold beer stashed in snowfields at the base of the wall. Oh well. We got to the trailhead around 7am, shouldered our packs and headed up the abandoned logging road/trail to Lower Hardscrabble Lake. I was at this point sorta happy that we were beerless. My pack was heavy! Quarter mile up the logging road there is an old abandoned crane, crumpled underneath a huge fallen tree. There must be an interesting story behind that. The way up to the lake is pretty ugly as it makes its way through a clearcut wasteland (renewable resource, hah!) but becomes nice near the lake. After the lake is another kind of ugly. Loose dirt on top of shifting boulders, the kind that is deposited by the avalanches and raging streams of winter, then perched precariously by the slowly melting snow. We made it to the base of the wall by noon with only one short section of bushwhacking. Our plan was to climb a few pitches on Thursday afternoon to try to find the route through the first section of roofs since the Becky guide was not too illuminating; "The first serious pitch leads to easier climbing above. Higher, climb up and left around a slight corner to break through a steep section to a broad ledge system halfway up the buttress." There is nothing snipped from this description. We found a good way up the first pitch and a good way NOT to continue from there. We also found out that the granite was indeed solid AND clean, nice, but that protection was quite thin, not nice. Micro-nuts were employed far too frequently for my liking. I found 5.7 to be much more nervy when climbing on thin pro while quite far out in the wilderness. We left an anchor and toprope on the first pitch for the next day. Friday morning 8 am we began just south of the "snout" of the buttress (the dividing point between the SE and NE facing walls). I found the most appealing route to the first belay to traverse right up a ramp to just past a left-facing dihedral (with no pro). A thin crack at this point allows access up to a point where the aforementioned dihedral becomes a more gradual right-leaning ramp split with a giant, clean handcrack. The day before I gained the same point by traversing right, past the first crack, to a more steep crack. The first move on the 20' steep crack pulled over a bulge with finger locks then quickly allowed good jams followed by a welcome jug. This crack was pretty easy to sew up and probably goes at about 5.8+. From the first belay we followed a corner up and slightly right then traversed across left at an undercling crack. The blank (for 5.7) move gaining the undercling crack was protected by a #1 RP (but at least the placement was a perfect #1 RP bottleneck). The undercling crack took good stoppers. Too good, there is probably still a #4 rock sticking out of it. The traverse puts you underneath a 20-foot high, 5-foot wide chimney that is formed by two thick granite fins. There is a handcrack in the left corner and fun (read "easy") moves up this thing. I belayed at the top of the chimney anchored by a #1 TCU and a cordelette twisted tight around a giant block. The next pitch goes almost straight up (just slightly left). The first move, getting up a steep 6 foot corner was sorta scary due to lack of protection and pretty good exposure. After that, the angle dropped off significantly as well as did any placements for protection. I placed a Lowe Tri-cam in a shallow flaring crack that I was not happy about. I ran it out to near the end of the rope and set up a belay with 3 equalized micro-nuts and one bomber #2 rock. Besides the iffy anchor, the belay was uncomfortable, somewhat slopey. I think next time I'll look to belay earlier or try to traverse to a crack on the right. The next pitch was only about 100-120 feet so a lower belay point wouldn't slow you down. We brought no SLCD's bigger than a #2 TCU. I think there were quite a few placements in which cams up to say a #3 friend would have been preferable to our assortment of Tri-cam's and Hexes. The fourth pitch tackled the "steeper" section. This was a fairly continuous slightly overhanging 10 foot wall. I led a runout but gradual slab 40 feet up to directly underneath the wall where there was good pro. Then I traversed right, over a 4 foot step and around a corner. Solid jams around the corner and pretty good pro. Around another corner is a 45 degree sloping ramp which forms a break in the wall. This looked blank and protectionless. The left side of the ramp has a block in a corner that you can climb onto then surmount the steep wall. Above is a small tree for a belay. We had now reached the "broad ledge system." We stretched the rope over 3rd class terrain and had a quick lunch at 1 pm. On the fifth pitch I climbed an initial 30 foot blocky section then ran along the large ledge right until the end of the rope. This pitch would certainly not require a belay. Note: next time try doing a more ascending line rightward up blocky terrain to reach the base of an 80 foot left-facing dihedral just right of the buttress crest. It looks like an interesting line. It may be too hard or lead to nowhere but surely it can't be worse than most of what we did after pitch 6. The right side of the dihedral is formed by a column with a top(?) so there should be a nice belay at top as well as rappel point if it blanks out after that. At this point, time was a definite consideration. The top didn't look too far away (foreshortening I guess). It seemed doable to get there and still leave an hour or so of daylight for the descent. But, we would have to take the easiest way possible and that appeared to be right of the crest up ledge systems covered with scrub pines and heather. For the sixth pitch I traversed far to the right to get to the base of a left leaning ramp/flake system, then up the system. This was some nice climbing with good pro (medium to big hexes mostly). Pitch seven was the pitch from hell. I had decided to belay at the top of the sixth pitch just below what appeared to be a large ledge since where I was there was adequate pro and usually once you pull over onto a big heathery ledge there is none. Besides, I was pretty much out of rope. Good thing I stopped where I did as on the next lead I found no pro over dirt/heather film on gradual rock for 50 feet. Sufficiently wigged at this point I traversed far right in order to sling a tree even though the route went left. Heading back on route I found myself looking at a steep gully/dihedral with seemingly no pro. I tried a number of alternatives but the left-leaning gully was the way to go. It looked dirty but actually turned out to be nice climbing (solid stemming) with excavatable pro placements. Unfortunately, the placements were all fairly directional (downward pull) and were ALL eventually yanked out by the rope pulling sideways from the tree at the far-right. No falls, luckily, and I groveled up to and straight through some large bushy junipers (good pro yeah!). I gave myself a very becoming slash across the upper lip. This pitch took a long time because of all the vacillating I did over route direction. I'm not sure how I could do anything differently the next time except to run it out the 80 feet to the steep gully, where the pro would (probably) be good without the sideways pull. Pitches 8 and 9 were forgettable grovels straight up through the juniper. Good pro, quick easy climbing, but not very aesthetic. We stayed just right of the crest. When we did reach rock again, the rock appeared to be getting much lower in quality (lots of loose big flakes and blocks). There is a particularly dangerous loose piece about the size of a VCR perched at the top of a 20 foot orange chimney near the top of the ninth pitch. It's starting to get very shadowy in the valleys below (the wall we're on faces East) and I'm seriously worried about being benighted. A spire marking the top of the buttress is now within a rope length of us. We are under and left of it. I know the walkoff goes right and decide to traverse underneath the spire to the right. There is a nice ledge going underneath and what looks like a fairly gradual step to the top at the end. The ledge is quite exposed, good feet but not much for your hands. Pro is scarce. I get to the end of the rope and find a nice vertical crack. Oh no! I cam my hand in the crack to test the stability and a totem approximately 1 foot in diameter and 9 feet tall shifts and grates! I'm at the end of the rope, with only marginal pro 30 feet previously, so I'm forced to make do with two small pieces in a nearby crack and belay right next to the big scary loose thing. I hope Dave doesn't fall. It's a basically horizontal traverse with minimal pro, belayed by two small chocks. He didn't fall. Pheeew! It is now minutes before darkness. While belaying Dave up, I've been scanning the cliff bands to the North to memorize how to get down them in the dark. Dave arrives at the belay. We break out the headlamps, or try to. Dave's lamp is deep in his backpack underneath the second rope. Lots of cussing and fighting with the backpack and its contents while teetering on our little perch. The strain is beginning to show on the unflappable Dave. I've got a Petzl Micro and he's got the bigger Zoom. Dave lets me take the Zoom since I'm leading. I head out right on pretty good holds and, as usual, sparse pro. It's basically one move at a time since darkness has completely descended. About 30 feet out right and up I come to total blankness. No way to continue to the passage up and off the wall. Damn! After much wallowing in self-pity I know I must downclimb back to the belay. At the belay I propose that I go back across the hairy traverse and try to get up to the ridge-crest on the left of the spire. Dave agrees and I head off. Soon after I take off Dave yells that if this doesn't get us to the top we should call it a night. This is probably prudent, but I sure don't like the idea of shivering on some little belay ledge all night. I find more pro reversing the traverse and get to the top of a what was a balancy mantle. No thanks, I instead continue left on heathery ledges with small trees for pro and come to a spot that looks like it will allow upward travel. A few moves put me in a steep spot with no pro. As I've done the entire climb, I scratch at anything that looks like a crack with my chock-pick. This time I find a very thin crack and set a #1 BD stopper. I remember the strength rating of this thing is something like 900 lbs and decide to aid the next move. I fashion an aider out of my cordelette by tying it into three loops. Fighting massive rope drag I step up the loops to gain a ledge. A short traverse and I'm at the top! It's not yet apparent that we can get around to the walk-down from here but at least this would be a much more roomy and comfortable place to bivy. The trials are not completely over. It turns out that my batteries died on Dave in the middle of the ledge traverse (the extra batteries nice and cozy at the base of the wall). On top of that he almost pitched off when he tested a piece I told him to down climb from pulled. He told me later that when the rattly hex pulled out he was sure it was the end, but somehow managed to latch on to a nubbin. After calming down, he brailled himself across the ledge to where I could illuminate his path from above. He made it up the part I aided without "cheating" and we were both at the top! We split our two remaining swallows of water in celebration.
  19. 2 points
    Trip: Mt Stuart - North Ridge Direct Trip Date: 08/18/2019 Trip Report: Here's a writeup I did on our trip up the North Ridge of Stuart last weekend. Many more pics in the link: http://dashertonclimbs.blog/2019/08/20/north-ridge-of-mt-stuart/ Gear Notes: SR .3-3, DR .5-2, offset nuts. Approach Notes: Esmerelda --> N Ridge --> Cascadian
  20. 2 points
    Sausagefest, Chuck with a smile on his face
  21. 1 point
    Trip: Indian Himalayas (Thailand too) - multiple Trip Date: 07/15/2019 Trip Report: My wife and I spent 2 months in Asia (1 mo India, 1 mo Thailand and Cambodia) this summer. Most of the trip was non-climbing, but we did get to do some cragging and got into the Zanskar region of the Hiumalaya for what I termed a "mini-exped." We learned quite a lot about logistics and have some insights for how to do this sort of thing on the cheap (not the rep of the Himalaya I know) which I thought I'd share here for others interested in getting out/up. Transport is the biggest logistical difficulty I'll mention here. Getting you and your gear to a "trailhead" or basecamp is the most difficult. If you want this part of the trip organized for you, figure out where you want to go and then contact Rimo Expeditions, these guys are by far the most experienced and dialed exped support company for Indian side of the Karakorum, Ladakh, and just about anything in the Indian Himalayas (Zanskar, Kishtwar, etc.). This will be expensive but still relatively cheap compared to the US for what actually needs to happen in terms of vehicles and people doing what you want on really f**ked up roads. If you want to avoid this, you can still go full dirt bag but it will require some discomfort on your part, a minimal kit, and lots of patience. There are several forms of transport in this area, all work, some are way better than others for your given objective. If you are truly light-weight you can rent/buy a Royal Enfield motorcycle and load up (you could even go KD-in-Kyrgyzstan style and ride a bicycle). This requires that you are very comfortable driving in some seriously narrow, rough roads with traffic. If you think that crappy dirt roads in the western US conditioned you for this... think again (its truly next level in terms of rugged, poo-yer-pants driving). The next level is to rent a "taxi" (jeep). This will be expensive but very convenient as you can have the guy drop you where you want. Expect about $100 per day which will get you sometimes as little as 100 miles of road travel. You can also get a shared jeep where you pay for your seat but this will only get you to near the area you are trying to go and your bags have to fit in the roof rack and share space with other travelers. We did this on the way out to our objective, got dropped at a tent-stay place by a village, then organized a private jeep (very beat up) with a local to get us and our two porters to the actual start of hiking. The problem with this and having a flexible itinerary was arranging pickup (sat phones are banned by India in this region due to fear of terrorist organization. Buses are quite cheap, bags are an issue if you are going heavy. They are also slower than taxis and can be rare to non-existent in remote areas. Hitch-hiking is possible, but most people will expect you to pay them something. My wife and I were able to hitch-hike on Tata trucks (India's semi-trucks) driven by some friendly Kashmiris to get back to the town of Kargil. This was a an extremely LONG but enjoyable and interesting way to travel (no issues with the amount of bags if you don't mind them getting very dusty/muddy/wet. The next issue is food. There are grocery stores (not what you're used to) in major towns (Leh, Kargil, Manali). Finding dry goods is hard. We went with quite a bit of canned goods knowing that our approach from road to basecamp was short (3-4 miles) and we would have a porter or two to help us carry stuff. You can easily buy lots of ramen packets and also poha (rolled potato flakes that can be cooked like instant rice). You can get some bars, instant oat meal. Peanut butter can be found but is expensive and will taste more like thai peanut sauce than PB we have here. Dried fruit, nuts and candy bars are easy to get. Bringing gear from the US is tough with the standard array of airport "security" (read bureaucracy) BS you will encounter. Groups like Rimo can provide you with high quality camping stuff (pads, tents, cook stoves, etc.). If you are renting it can be good in both price and quality, just make sure to reserve early in the year for a company like Rimo and check the items carefully before taking them out in the field. I would plan to bring your own climbing gear, sleeping bag, and light tent or bivy sacks if you are planning to sleep on route. All other camping equipment you can get in Leh, probably Manali, Kargil you'll probably be out. Here's our itinerary, then I'll tell you what I would change if I went back with a climbing focus... Flew to Delhi, train to Chandigarh, private taxi to Manali (6500') 5 days in Manali with day hikes to 8000' and 11k' Two day Himachal Tourism bus to Leh (day 1 go over 13500' pass, sleep at 10k', go over multiple passes 3x 15k' 1x 17k', arrive in Leh 12.5k') Spend 6 days in Leh with easy walks, buy food, get rental gear, research and finalize objectives. Bus to Kargil (11k'), spend night, shared taxi to Rangdum (14k'), spend the night, private jeep and hike to foot of glacier at 15k'. 5 nights sleeping at foot of glacier (15k') day 1 navigate toe of glacier and dial in approach route, day 2 go up ridge next to glacier to 17k' (shut down by knife edge of stacked blocks), day 3 rest (boulder around camp), day 4 go up different ridge to 19k' (shut down by overhanging rock band), day 5 hike out If my goal was to climb in the same area, or other areas North of the Himalaya crest in summer I would change it up and do the following... Acclimatize before hand on mountains in the US and fly straight to Leh at 12k' plus (book Delhi to Leh separately with a discount airline as it will be way cheaper). Gear up and buy food in Leh. If it were me, I'd go pretty light and ideally have 4+ people who I was going climbing with. This way you can hire a taxi/jeep at a reasonable cost per person to get you and your stuff to your area (jeeps can fit 7 passengers with limited room for bags in the back and a roof rack). If you need a couple porters you can probably just find them the week of if in Zanskar and most other areas of Ladakh, but be specific about what you want (lots of people speak just enough English that you think they understand) and use lots of pictures (most villages will hav no electricity or internet so be prepared). If in the Karakorum the proximity of the border means that the army will over pay porters and it will be difficult to find people, pack animals may be the way to go for getting to the glacial travel part. If in doubt I'd hire Rimo for logistics. Other thoughts... -snow can be really soft and slushy, look for hard freezes and plan to travel during those times -sunny aspects can actually be more consolidated on steep slopes -everything is bigger and takes more time than you think, especially figuring out approaches through glaciers, rivers, scree, etc. Feel free to message me with Qs. Here are some sweet pictures for your viewing pleasure (apologies for the crap iphone pics)... "trail head" approach to BC bouldering at BC views from a ridge less ideal views from another ridge bailure time make-shift gaiters hitch hiking w/ our homies #freekashmir #modiisafascist luxury hotels (slobber slobber) and NO, I won't tell you where this is Summary: It's cheap, the peeps are nice, place is easier to deal w/ than you probably think... go get it! P.S. Thailand is fun too... Gear Notes: rented tent/pads/sleeping bags/stove bought with: light axe and pons Approach Notes: fly, train, bus, taxi, jeep, walk
  22. 1 point
    Oh right! Forgot I started this. Thanks @mrice1225 for digging this up and posting the good news. However, Kiewit still retains ownership so I wouldn't be surprised to see it rear its head again when there is another opportunity to supply rock.
  23. 1 point
    Hello all, I was led to this post by a friend of mine who told me she read Charlies’s obituary in Stockton. My husband, Brad Dozier, was from Stockton and died while attempting to summit Peak 9626 in Alpine County, CA on October 27, 2018. Search and Rescue teams found him a week later. Brad and I were married for 26 years just like Charlie and his wife. We had 3 kids. This past year has been horrific. So, I’m reaching out to Charlie’s wife should she just want to talk to a spouse who’s a survivor of a similar tragedy. I’m here. Ruanne
  24. 1 point
    9/7 - day 29 (5 CBIs for 6 runs) - roger morris reclamation day w/ lap 61 i say, my personal best n' for all i can imagine beacon's too, at least for a single year of solo laps - on the horn early w/ adam but we thought it fucked yet somehow separately we crawled to the wall n' didn't say shit when we saw each other, me 'specially w/ only a few minutes of fucking-around time cooked into the cookie - a three-some at tree ledge, the poor sheila below certain she had to do the hard-core-headwall - kincaid n' norman n' the normal nattering high above the hills, me nut-booby n' stupid - could it be that this is it for the simple set?
  25. 1 point
    HAYDUKE LIVES! A former Green Beret would certainly have the skills to pull this off. Mystery solved.
  26. 1 point
    Damn, we are few and far between as are my posts on cc.com. miss you all
  27. 1 point
    Moved to the partners forum because, well, you are looking for partners.
  28. 1 point
    If you want to find partners and go with them, you'll want to build up a lot of experience along the path. Do some reading, take a course, get out on snow and ice where you are and start learning. You can practice crevasse rescue techniques without being on a mountain with actual crevasses. You could find some equally passionate people willing to spend time w you to learn and practice the skills you all will need. In that scenario, Rainier will be a later objective in a long progression that may take several seasons. Or you could hire a guide and skip a lot of that progression ramp and get instruction, practice, safety, and a lot of friendly service at the same time.
  29. 1 point
  30. 1 point
    I've been cleaning it up lately and it seems totally safe. No pins in the roof (1 oxidized fixed nut) and plenty of gear opportunities made it an easy aid solo to get the rope up. All anchors have been replaced but i'm still waiting to get my hands on some chain. I'm gonna give it some more scrubbing and a free burn on Tuesday. I'll also be taking my rope down then, sorry about the eye sore. P1 is more or less good to go but still needs chain on the anchor. I may also do some work on the other routes that you access from the alcove.
  31. 1 point
    Heh, on the Three Queens, one can see a bit of a special watch he got from his pops with an altimeter on it.
  32. 1 point
    Here are some oldies. Some Line Yo Mamma Don't Like in the Gunks in 1993 as well as the "middle queen" of the Three Queens in '93. We climbed all those familiar peaks in the background, of course. We had matching helmets, harnesses, rock shoes, fleece... soo sappy. And, of course, we thought we were on the way to being such Badasses. We made up our own online registry at REI in 93 because there wasn't such a thing back then. Got Friends from Friends. I had purchased the old red B2600 in 92 and had driven it out to New York for my post doc. We drove it back to Seattle together in 94 ...took us like 3 (4?) weeks .... did a few climbs along the way. I am not bothering to PS these images.
  33. 1 point
    I lost respect for my climbing ability many years ago.
  34. 1 point
    This is rad. AMAZING climb by some intrepid adventurers. I am late for the party to congratulate but don't blame me even thought I lost my password.
  35. 1 point
    Yeah, but now that we know the Zorro Face is a mere 5.9, can any self-respecting climber just do the standard route?
  36. 1 point
  37. 1 point
    DAMN. So....many....Legends. All in one spot. CC.com lives!
  38. 1 point
    Trip: Quartz Mountain - Training Day Trip Date: 08/24/2019 Trip Report: After reading through Kurt's new book "Snoqualmie Rock" Training Day stood out as a climb to do. I convinced my wife to climb, found some friends to watch our kids and off we went. Unfortunately, we went 2 miles down the wrong path before realizing our mistake and turning around. Note: When parking at the CCC trail pullout, DO NOT START HIKING ON THE TRAIL FROM THE PULLOUT! My wife and I were just chit-chatting away, oblivious that the book said hike 100 meters up the road to the trail, and oblivous that we were walking away from the mountain rather than to it. After 2 miles, we realized our mistake and backtracked. 75 minutes lost, but we just chalked it up to an extra warmup. The approach description in the book is spot it. Here is the bridge with the step. Walk a couple minutes past the bridge and turn left (uphill) at this log. You should see a pink ribbon up the hill. The trail heads up, up, up. Keep following the flags (half of which are now on the ground) and the faint climbers trail as it appears and disappears. Pass Face Stump and keep going up. The trail gets into the overgrown wash and follows some cairns before entering several hundred meters of pure sticker-bush wacking. Finally we reached the base of the climb. The book says the rappel is just uphill. It is 200 meters of uphill bushwacking. We left our packs at the base but carried our approach shoes on the climb for the wack back. You can bushwach back in your climbing shoes, but that just sounds painful. Start of the climb. It goes at 5.6 and was easily protected. After the roof, go right of the small Go right of the trees above the roof on easy low-5th terrain and scramble to the belay. It if wasn't for this start, the first pitch can be easily scrambled without rope. Looking up at pitch 2. 2nd pitch is also a scramble. Could be combined with a 1st pitch simu-climb if not for that start. Teresa starting up pitch 4. Book says it is 5.9. Maybe one move of 5.9. It wasn't hard at all and very well protected. Heading up pitch 5. The anchors are hidden behind the bushes and it is 62 meters. Teresa had to come off the anchor and climb a few feet so I could get to the anchors. Teresa heading up pitch 6. The slab below the bush is clean but no bolts. We had to go left into the bushes which was dirty and wet. One bolt halfway up the slab would have made the start of this pitch really nice instead of dirty and wet. Pitch 7. The money pitch. 22 bolts of 5.10a slab. It is very well protected and one can aid through it quite easily. I ended up skipping 5 bolts or so, especially near the top where the bolts are next to a beautiful flake. I jammed the flake and passed three bolts before I knew it. The top of the pitch is the infamous tree grab. Looking down at the bush dive. I didn't enjoy this at all. The limbs are small and felt like they would rip out of the trees and any moment. I agree with other posters that a few bolts on the slab would have made this so much better. Pitch 8. Great climbing to the arete. Then the route goes up right through some dirty and trees. Going left leads to beautiful, clean slab and a couple of cracks. Not sure if left would go without needing a bolt between the blank spot between cracks, but it looks so much cleaner than where the route went. No pictures of pitch 9. It leavings a hanging belay over a couple small roofs. The roofs were dirty. Two bolts protect the move and it looks fun if clean. I ended up pulling on the bolts to get over the roof as the lichen and sand kept slipping under my feet. The rest of pitch ten is dirty and easy 5th, slinging a tree and climbing some loose blocks to the belay. There is a bolted belay, or a beautiful shade tree to belay from. I climbed under the tree onto a small ledge and belayed from there. To be honest, the climb could easily end here. Rapping down from the anchors would be a great climb. The last three pitches are low-quality, dirty, and scary, and didn't really add anything to the climb. That's my opinion at least. Teresa heading out on pitch 10. The moves to the detached flake and just beyond it were okay, but very dirty. Sand and lichen accumlate on this low-angle slab making it feel harder than it should have. Past the flake there is a section of unprotected, dirty slab moves to the anchor. One more bolt would have made this much safer and a quality pitch. Or even clean slab would have made this a quality pitch. Runout 5.8 on clean slab is fine. Runout on pine-needle covered micro-ledges is terrifying. Looking back at pitch 11. This pitch was horrible. If it was 20 feet lower on the clean slabs it would have been amazing. Instead it followed dirty, broken underclings with exfoliated rock, over a couple of trees, and across an unprotected finish on pine-need and dirt ledges. I couldn't see the last two bolts as they were hidden in moss, so I went straight up for a bit and saw I was clearly off route. I lowered off a sling (don't follow up to the blue sling!), kept traversing and found the two bolts. Funny thing is that there are two gear placements right above these two bolts, while there is no gear or bolts for the remaining 30 feet of unprotected 5.8 dirt slab. I found the biggest tree to belay from and brought Teresa up. Teresa took pitch 12 to the notch. It was easy 5.0 and she slung one tree. No issues, and she belayed at the biggest tree on the notch. Pitch 13 was harder to find. I thought it would go up the clean, black slab above the tree but it didn't. I took about 10 minutes of searching to find the bolts. The bolt I found was actually the third bolt, the first two being hidden in grass and moss. From the tree, go directly left on the small ledges. You will see the bolts. The belay tree is directly above her head. The first bolt is hidden at her feet. The second is hidden in the grass a few feet in front. Looking at pitch 13. It is wet but easily aided using the bolts. This is the start of the rappels. 8 full-length rappels got us down. They are full 60 meter rappels. Two are on tree stations, the other 6 are on bolts. The rappel route looks like an amazingly clean slab climb. Looking up from around rappel #4. All in all it was a decent outing. 14-hour car to car (including our 75 minute wrong-way hike.) I can't really recommend the last pitches unless you like run-out dirty slab. However, the first nine would make an amazing day on their own. This route needs to see more people to keep it in shape. Get out there and do it! Gear Notes: Rack up to 3". We brought nuts but never used them. We used maybe 10 pieces of gear on the whole route. Green and yellow alien, .4 through #3 BD would be just fine. Lost and lots of alpine slings. You don't need 22 slings though. On the 5.10a pitch, you can reach down and unclip the sling below you so you can get by with about 12 normal slings and 4 double slings. Approach Notes: Long, steep and spikey. There is a faint climbers trail, but it needs more feet to create a path through the bush-whack top.
  39. 1 point
    in an alpine rock environment, 50 meters is a good length. chances are you will experience too much rope drag when making pitches beyond 40 to 50 meters anyway. then you have to deal with that extra length at every pitch change over. I found that teams can go faster with 50 meter ropes, especially if there are short rope sections like on serpentine arete or even on ne butt slesse. Plus alpine rarely do long rappels where a longer rope would be good. shorter rappels make dealing with rope eaters easier. I did almost all of my alpne climbing in a pair of 50m doubles. whether I brought one or two depended on the route. If the rope is too short in the alpine, simu climbing takes care of that. You should be very solid rock climbing and not pushing limits in alpine. Short bits of simu should not be a problem.
  40. 1 point
    An incredible amount of work in that beta, wow! I have to say that I'm surprised that you ran into another party on it, I guess the Bugs really are getting that busy now?
  41. 1 point
    sounds like a honeymoon to remember!
  42. 1 point
    heck yes! thx for the detailed report, good stuff.
  43. 1 point
    DOE takes no prisoners!!! Glad to see folks getting after it, not an easy route...! On the 2nd ascent of the route Jens and I broke the headwall into 3 pitches and he onsighted from a semi hanging belay near the wide section thru the roof to the belay your using on the upper headwall. No way in hell we could have freed that upper bit without the scrubbing we did on our next mission.
  44. 1 point
    Another of Chuck (2nd from the left, I think he is talking to @klenke) from way back...one of the first Pubclubs I ever went to.
  45. 1 point
    It's actually not weird at all Bob. Lemme explain in short words so you can go back to dishing out greasy-handed rub n tugs in peace It's likely that there will be some sort of undercover effort to find the perpetrator. A Mr Big sting (legal in Canada, though not in the US) or similar. At some point the guilty party will tell an undercover cop or informant "Yeah, I cut the cable." "How'd you do it?" "Well, I used a plasma cutter". or "an angle grinder" or whatever. BECAUSE that info hasn't been publicly released or reported, they have higher confidence that the guy is telling them the truth when he tells them how he did it. It's something that only he and they know. That won't work if everybody and his dumbfuck Polish buddy knows how it was done. So that's why they won't publicly say how it happened. Cause they don't want the general public to know.
  46. 1 point
    Somewhere near Beaver Lake on a "trip" to play in the snow, about 20 years ago. I am sure he still has that t-shirt and probably still has those pants.
  47. 1 point
    Thanks @wayne, glad you liked it. We had more than a bit of time at Frenzel camp to contemplate your mind melting ascent of Mongo Ridge. So rad, and so out there, and so scary! It will stand the test of time no doubt, maybe even more audacious than those mythical Doorish routes.
  48. 1 point
    Nice report, I didn't sign registers much back then. what great memories your trip will be for you and your friends!
  49. 1 point
    Well, that looks awful. Thanks for the picture anywhow!
  50. 1 point
    Heading up there in a few hours. If you don't hear from me again, just assume the Coleman got us